UN’s overall financial situation is ‘sound’ but ‘tight,’ senior UN official reports

Under-Secretary-General for Management Yukio Takasu briefs the press. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

9 October 2013 – The top United Nations management official today said that the Organization’s budget is sound but urged Member States to meet their financial obligations on time.

“The financial position of the UN as a whole is sound… however the situation is quite tight for the regular budget,” Yukio Takasu, Under-Secretary-General for Management, told journalists in New York.

Following his briefing to the Fifth Committee - the General Assembly body dealing with administrative and budgetary issues - Mr. Takasu said that cash positions are projected to be positive at the end of this year but currently “significant amounts of assessment remain unpaid.”

In connection with the Organization’s regular budget, he said that unpaid assessments amounted to 36 per cent or $945 million out of the $2.6 billion. The figure is up from $855 million at this time in 2012. Meanwhile, available cash in the regular budget cash totalled $55 million as of 1 October.

The number of Member States which have paid in full their contribution to the regular budget increased to 134 by the 5 October cut-off date, compared with 129 at this time in 2012.

“This demonstrates the very strong commitment and support of Member States to the United Nations,” Mr. Takasu said.

The United States, Brazil and Venezuela are the top three Member States, in that order, with unpaid assessments of $795 million, $75 million and $22 million respectively, Mr. Takasu said.

Fifty-six other Member States owed the Organization $53 million for the regular budget.

He noted, however, that the US had paid more than $1.56 billion dollars in September to UN peacekeeping operations.

The outstanding assessments for peacekeeping operations, the second of the overall’s budget four areas, increased $3.4 billion as of 1 October compared with $1.3 billion at the end of 2012.

“This sounds alarming, but it shouldn’t be,” Mr. Takasu said, noting that that scale of assessments changed this year and the UN Member States could not be notified of the final figures until January, thereby slowing down the payment timeline.

As for outstanding payments to Member States for contributing troops, formed police units and related costs, Mr. Takasu said the Organization is projected to reduce this amount from $525 million in December 2012 to $423 million by the end of this year.

India, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Rwanda, and Nigeria top the list of the countries to which payments are owed.

For international tribunals, unpaid assessments amount to $60 million, relatively stable from $63 million at this time last year. In addition, the Capital Master Plan (CMP), related to the ongoing renovations of the UN Headquarters in New York, only has $1.6 million in unpaid assessments out of $1.87 billion.


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